Ali Kabange alias Munakenya, one of the 38 people accused together with former Allied Democratic Forces rebel leader Jamil Mukulu of charges related to terrorism and murder has accused security agencies of torture.
Through his lawyer, Evans Ochieng, Kabange told court presided over by Justice Eva Luswata that he was approached by security agencies in plain clothes while in detention at Murchison Bay prison in Luzira and they tortured him.
“He was forced out of his detention room and taken to a separate room from where he was tortured and forcefully made to sign some documents,”Ochieng told court on Wednesday.
“He was forcefully interrogated in violation of the law by security agencies he didn’t know.”
The lawyer asked court to issue a warning to security organs and the prison authorities on anyone accessing the prison facilities against the will of the prisoners.
State rubbishes claims
However, in response, the senior state attorney, Marion Ben Bella, said the claims by the defence lawyer were mere allegations that are not founded, adding that court should ignore them.
“She said that whoever makes any allegations ought to prove them but said this was not the case with the case at hand.
“The state does not condone torture but it is wrong to make allegations of that nature without evidence,” Ben Bella told court.
“They should be treated as allegations and court should disregard them.”
In her ruling later, Justice Eva Luswata said torture is a serious allegation that ought to be treated as such.
She however noted that the accused’s lawyers had not presented evidence to prove the allegation.
“The alleged security operatives are not named, the nature of torture is not indicated, information extracted is not shown and the date of the alleged torture is not given,”Luswata said.
“His(Ochieng) submissions are simply submissions from the bar.”
The judge however said the defence lawyers are free to make their complaint formal and gave them seven days to do this.
The judge adjourned the matter to September 18 for the pre-trial to continue.
Mukulu, who was arrested in 2015 in Tanzania was indicted together with 38 others of offences related to terrorism, murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, aiding and abetting terrorism, crimes against humanity and belonging to a terrorist organisation stemming from his alleged involvement in rebel activities as the leader of ADF.
Mukulu is accused of launching a rebellion when he formed ADF out of remnants of the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU), terrorising people in Western Uganda areas of Rwenzori leading to death of many.
Prosecution alleges that Mukulu masterminded the killing of various Muslim Sheikhs in Uganda between 2013 and 2015.